Married and Still Doing It

Wanting the one you're with

What would Pink Viagra Do For You?

Female sexual desire available at your pharmacy soon

Have you ever said to your gynecologist,  “Don’t you have a pill to make me feel horny again?” Women are like Porsches with broken starters.  We have amazing sexual capacity, enjoy sex once we get started, have high octane orgasms, but sexual urgency is often missing once we’re married or in long-term relationship. Remember how exquisite longing felt?  You might agree to have sex but you’d kill to have desire.  Help is on its way; pharma’s quest for PINK Viagra is closing in.

Per the recent NY Times article by Daniel Bergner, drug researcher and developer Adriaan Tuiten is trying to develop two similar but slightly different combination medications to fix women’s starters. Both drugs, Librido and Libridos have a coating of testosterone to melt under her tongue before swallowing the rest of the pill. The core of Librido is a compound similar to Viagra and will help make her genitals swell. Libridos’ center has an anti-anxiety drug meant to reduce her inhibition.

There’s some good understanding of female desire behind these compounds:

1) Women lack urgency due to lower testosterone. As a sex therapist, I see couples in good relationships where she is exhausted from caring for children and/or a demanding career but where nothing makes her husband too tired for sex. Imagining that their bodies are similar because of the matched sexual desire that started their relationship, there is enormous frustration between them. He thinks she is withholding and she begins to believe he is demanding. In reality, he has an unfair advantage when it comes to urgency. 

A male body has a range 1000-300 nanograms/deciliter of testosterone whereas a woman has only 70/2 ng/dl. At levels of 300 ng/dl, men come to therapy complaining of low libido perhaps only wanting sex only one time a week, no morning erections, poor erections during sex, and Viagra not working well. While women may metabolize and make use of our testosterone more efficiently, there is a huge gender gap in our inherit bounty of this sex drug. We are nearly different species.

Testosterone does often help women’s sexual hunger but I have some questions. Will a sublingual dose immediately increase her desire timed to a romantic evening?  Will the dose be small enough to avoid any side effects from increasing her hormone levels?

2) Arousal takes longer for women. Desire often kicks in for a woman when she’s already having sex.  About halfway up the mountain of arousal when her genital engorge and her lubrication becomes evident, she starts to crave sex. But getting to the halfway point takes about 20 minutes for most women from a dead start.

Technically Viagra works on the mechanics of erections by increasing vasodilation in the genitals helping couple relations because erectile dysfunction is the most commonly disrupted area of male sexual functioning. It make some biological sense that if a woman is physiologically boosted up the mountain to the point that she starts to want it, then this pill fixes her ignition.

Unfortunately, research by Meredith Chivers has shown that women’s genitals and minds are not as hard-wired together as are men’s. For instance, when shown images that cause a sexual response of vasocongestion in her genitals, women did not always feel subjective arousal. She didn't feel sexual even though her body was turned on. Contrast this with a man.  I’m told that if his penis starts to get an erection - by drug, by erotic stimuli, or by the wind -  he starts to feel sexy.

I’m hopeful, but a skeptic waiting to see the results of Librido.

3) Libridos (the second drug) also lowers inhibition. Body self-consciousness is a primary reason women avoid sex. They can’t get their mind off their imperfections long enough to melt into the moment. Second, to this is a woman’s feeling of always being behind on her list of things to do. She can’t let go for pleasure’s sake because she feels the ever-present tyranny of her career, household tasks and children’s needs. Partly, her inhibition is about become slothful.

Obviously drugs can't fix our relationships, connect us to a partner, fairly divide family responsibilty, or develop better seduction - things research has also proven that women need for a good sexual relationship.  But if those aspects are working, then currently, planning sex, fantasies and imagination are important ways to repair the female starter. I think, however, if the drug works, better buy stock in the company; women are going to want it.

 

Link for more help from Laurie Watson with SexTherapy in Raleigh, Cary, Greensboro and Chapel Hill, NC. Laurie’s book Wanting Sex Again is available on Amazon!

Laurie Watson is an AASECT certified sex therapist and licensed couple’s therapist. She lectures at Duke University’s Medical Schooland is the clinical director for Awakenings in Raleigh. more...

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